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IndyCar Season Preview: Ryan Briscoe

Photo credit: Ned Leone

#2 Izod Dallara-Chevrolet, Team Penske

Born: September 24, 1981

Home: Sydney, Australia

2011 HIGHLIGHTS: After spending much of 2010 unsponsored and worrying in the offseason about his job security, Briscoe became the new face of the Izod brand in IndyCar. He led 35 of 85 laps at Long Beach to finish second and scored four podium finishes. He finished a respectable sixth in points.

2011 LOWLIGHTS: For the first time in four years as a Penske driver, Briscoe failed to win a race, and that sixth place points finish was actually his worst with the team. His month of May was also disastrous, as he only qualified 26th at Indianapolis and crashed out to finish 27th.

SEASON OUTLOOK: Once again, Briscoe went into the offseason unsure of his return to Penske (especially since he spent seven races with Penske Trucking backing his car), but his contract was eventually picked up for a fifth season. He will, however, be working with a new engineer, the only one of three Penske drivers who will be at that disadvantage to start the season. The good news is that aforementioned engineer, Jonathan Diuguid, has been with Penske since 2005 and worked on Briscoe’s team last year.

Briscoe still has plenty of potential, though, and anybody who drives for Roger Penske will always have a shot at a title. While testing the Dallara DW12 at Fontana in late November, Briscoe was decidedly more optimistic about the new car than Honda counterpart Scott Dixon. If that becomes a setup advantage that foreshadows the 2012 season, Briscoe could make up for his end of season choke in 2009.

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